Abortion Rights March
We have received the following message from Femininist Fightback:
Dear sisters and brothers,
We need your help in building the protest for abortion rights due to take place on Saturday 3 March.
On 21 October, more than 220 people attended the Feminist Fightback conference at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London to discuss issues including feminism and sexual expression, women's movements in the Middle East, women workers organising against low and unequal pay, men's role in the fight against sexism, sex workers' struggles - and abortion rights. To mark the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act which legalised abortion in Britain, the organising session of the conference agreed to hold a torch-lit march for abortion rights in central London a day close to International Women's Day (which is Thursday 8 March). With anti-choice right-wingers currently on the offensive, we believe that this protest is very important indeed.
We will be meeting on Saturday 3 March from 6.30pm at University of London Union on Malet Street (Goodge Street, Euston, Euston Square or Russell Square tube), to march followed by a rally. This event is open to all, men and women. Our demands are:
- No reduction in the 24-week time limit for access to abortion.
- The right to abortion on demand (this means an end to having to get the consent of two doctors) up to the legal time limit.
- The extension of abortion rights to women in Northern Ireland.
- Abortion to be integrated into the NHS as an ordinary medical service.
- An end to privatisation, marketisation and fragmentation in the NHS; increased public funding to guarantee free and equal access to abortion.
- Improved access to and increased choice of publicly funded contraception.
- Clear, honest, comprehensive and confidential sexuality and relationship education for all children which addresses issues of consent and domestic violence.
- A real 'right to choose' which also means the right to have a child free from economic and social pressure. This requires a real living wage for all workers, benefits which can be lived on and rise with earnings, universal publicly funded childcare and an end to the stigmatisation of single mothers.
What you can do:
- Officially support the march. If you, your women's group or other organisation would like to do so, just get in touch.
- Advertise the march as widely as possible by putting the information on websites, email lists etc, putting up posters, distributing leaflets (both of which can be downloaded for copying online here).
- Bring a delegation on the march (if you can let us know in advance, that would be helpful for planning, but of course you can just turn up on the day - the more, the merrier!)
- Invite a speaker to your women's group etc to tell you more about the march, Feminist Fightback, ENS Women or feminist activism generally!
We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you on 3 March!
Debbie Hollingsworth and Laura Schwartz
Feminist Fightback organising team
National Union of Students National Executive
- www.fightback.org.uk / www.socialistfeminist.org.uk